$100 Swaps: Ethereum Dex Volumes Saw $39 Billion Last Month Despite 'Insane' Trading Fees

During the last 12 months, Ethereum-based decentralized finance (defi) solutions and decentralized exchange (dex) platforms have been very popular. Dex applications, in particular, have seen massive demand and during the last 30 days, dex trade volumes have reached $39 billion in swaps. However, one of the biggest issues confronting dex users continues to be the enormous fees associated with interacting with platforms like Uniswap and other dex platforms.

Ethereum’s Decentralized Exchange Platforms See Record 30 Day Trade Volumes

Dex applications like Uniswap, 1inch, Sushiswap, 0x, Matcha, Kyber, and others have been very popular platforms during the last year. The defi market aggregator defipulse.com shows that there’s over $22 billion in value locked into defi platforms today. A considerable amount of this locked ether value is also represented by dex applications and the growing user base. On January 14, 2021, stats from Dune Analytics shows that during the last month, dex trade volumes gathered $39.86 billion. Dex applications have seen $12 billion in swaps during the last seven days, and the top dex application in terms of volume is Uniswap.

Uniswap’s trade volume is followed by Sushiswap, Curve, 0x, and Balancer respectively. Every week, Uniswap and Sushiswap are seeing billions in global trade volume and Uniswap is the fourth largest defi application, according to current stats with around $2.77 billion total value locked (TVL). However, even though decentralized exchanges have seen large TVL balances and significant trade volume, the crypto community has been flabbergasted by the fees associated with Ethereum-based dex applications.

Crypto Users Complain About Massive Dex Fees

For instance, the popular Bitcoin researcher and author, Hasu, recently said that some “defi projects produce nearly as much cash flows from fees as the entire Bitcoin network does.” During the last two weeks, a great number of crypto proponents have been complaining about the massively sized fees associated with dex platforms like Uniswap and Sushiswap.

Moreover, in some cases, people have had to eat the associated onchain trading fee, but the swap ultimately fails. On January 7, 2021, the bitcoin pundit Brad Mills tweeted about paying a $120 dex trading fee.

“Just a casual $120 fee to use Uniswap on Ethereum,” Mills said. “Defi is the future of finance for the unbanked,” he added sarcastically. A few hours ago, one individual wrote: “I’m gonna go cry now over the Uniswap fees I just paid.”

In another tweet on Friday, one user explained that the “fees on Uniswap are insane— They need to figure out a way to curb this or Uniswap will plateau as a decentralized exchange,” he added while sharing a picture of the Uniswap fees on Friday.

The screenshot shows that the slowest transaction will cost $40 in ether fees, and that transaction should settle in 12 minutes. A medium-speed transaction that will settle in a single minute, costs over $58 dollars to interact with Uniswap. Moreover, the fastest confirmation time of under 30 seconds will set a trader back $100 just for the fee. “Oh my god these Uniswap fees are insane…,” another person tweeted on Friday afternoon. Another person complained and said they wanted to trade but dex fees are too high.

“I wanna start trading on Uniswap, but I’m not rich yet so….fees. Any alternatives?” the person asked.

Of course, throughout all the discussions about the high dex fees, a great number of crypto community members shilled their own favorite blockchain with claims of lower fees. Despite Ethereum’s colossal lead in the decentralized finance (defi) space, many people believe the network will falter if fees are not improved in the near future. One person even compared the Ethereum network to BTC’s fee and transaction congestion issues and referred to both network’s as antiquated tech.

“ETH is the Bitcoin of Defi,” explained the Twitter account dubbed ‘Green Eggs-n-Sam.’ “Old tech, failed to scale >10 yrs., fees [are a] fu**ing joke, flawed incentives, running on fumes of first-mover advantage, practically unusable w/o a centralized layer 2, all the while, superior solutions, and off-ramps are appearing left and right.” The crypto proponent’s harsh criticism actually was a fairly popular tweet with 165 likes at the time of publication.

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